Magazine article Montessori Life

One Teacher's Struggle

Magazine article Montessori Life

One Teacher's Struggle

Article excerpt

As I sit watching a student scoot his chair across the floor, throw himself on the ground, and roll around, I cannot help thinking to myself, "What am I doing here?"

Desperately, I search for my cooperating teacher's watchful eyes. She is watching from the hallway - looking at the child and then looking at me, smiling encouragingly. She will not intervene though I know she could make him stop in a heartbeat. 1 close my eyes for just a moment, inhale slowly and stand, taking my time to exhale. My mind is constantly repeating: "Be strong, be calm, be in charge." I walk toward my student, bend down to his level, and raise my eyebrows so he knows I mean business. I try to keep my voice steady.

"This is unacceptable behavior. Please get back in your chair and finish your work." He smiles at me.

"I don't know how," he says, as he flips back onto his stomach.

"Then ? will help you." ? half drag him back to his table and do my best to remain composed as I calmly try to help him. I watch him from the corner of my eye as he throws his pencil in the air, not watching me at all.

Finally, as though the world knows I am about to throw in the towel, it is time to end the day and begin cleaning. I am thoroughly exhausted and feel as though I have failed, once again, to command respect and prove I am becoming the teacher I aspire to be. While I know my CT appreciates my efforts, ? can see only the sad reflection of myself in her eyes: disappointed, beaten, and forever exhausted. Again I ask myself, "What am ? doing here?"

1 leave school only to begin the seemingly endless amoimt of homework I have to complete during my practicum. I begin to leaf through Maria Montessori's The Absorbent Mind, looking for some evidence to support the news article I am supposed to be writing. I hardly look at the words. My mind wanders constantly, no matter how hard I try to beckon it back, to the failures of my day. And then I stop. Suddenly, I am struck, lured by fluorescent yellow lines I must have highlighted months ago. I do not necessarily want to read them. I would rather wallow in my moment of depression. Still, I cannot look away. The lines read:

The teacher must remember the powers which lie dormant in these divinely pure and generous little souls. …

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